Marital separation occurs when spouses in a marriage stop living together without getting divorced.- Marital separation
Divorce is different from annulment, which declares the marriage null and void, with legal separation or de jure separation (a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married) or with de facto separation (a process where the spouses informally stop cohabiting).- Divorce
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Legal separation (sometimes judicial separation, separate maintenance, divorce a mensa et thoro, or divorce from bed-and-board) is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married.
Some couples obtain a legal separation as an alternative to a divorce, based on moral or religious objections to divorce.
Alimony (also called aliment (Scotland), maintenance (England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand), spousal support (U.S., Canada) and spouse maintenance (Australia) ) is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to their spouse before or after marital separation or divorce.